Australia to conduct ‘meaty’ review after Sri Lanka flop
COLOMBO – Cricket Australia will pore over its high performance systems in a ‘meaty’ review following the 3-0 test series whitewash to Sri Lanka, chief executive James Sutherland has said.
Australia lost their world number one ranking in tests due to the series defeat and burnished their reputation as home-track bullies after their batsmen again proved hapless against spin bowling on turning wickets.
With a huge challenge in the subcontinent looming against India in less than six months, Sutherland said probing questions were being asked of the national set-up.
“Are some of the fundamental things that we are doing to prepare our players to perform well and be highly competitive in subcontinental conditions passing the test?” Sutherland said in comments published by Fairfax Media.
“I think that’s where the review gets a little bit more meaty and challenging and more fundamental, going right down into questioning our high performance systems as well.”
Sutherland’s comments come days after former Australia batsman Matthew Hayden slammed the high performance unit for having too much power over the team and selections.
Hayden claimed head coach and selector Darren Lehmann and the high performance unit headed by former rugby international Pat Howard were undermining the players’ ability to build a strong culture.
“The players have got to actually wrestle back some of their own power from within rather than listening to your physios, your strength and conditioning coaches, your high performance manager and even your coach for that matter and actually dig in as a group and build the culture,” Hayden, a former team mate of Lehmann, fumed on local radio station Triple M.
Australia hired Sri Lanka spin great Muttiah Muralitharan as a coaching consultant to help their batsmen prepare for the South Asian nation’s pitches but many appeared clueless when facing veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who took 28 wickets and was named man-of-the-series.
Cricket Australia also regularly sends ‘A’ and youth teams to the subcontinent but some were failing to adapt, Sutherland said.
“To be a bona fide international cricketer in this day and age you need to be able to adapt to conditions in Australia, conditions in England, conditions in the subcontinent … wherever you play,” he said. “And that adaptability is something that needs to be reviewed because some are adapting and some aren’t.”
Australia gained some consolation from the Sri Lanka tour on Wednesday, with the one-day side winning the fourth match to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series. -Reuters